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Riding a motorcycle was something I never thought of. At 5 years sober, I met a guy in the rooms of AA, and after a long motorcycle ride on the back on his bike in April 2002, I knew I had to learn how to ride. Not only had I fallen in love with him (and married him), I fell in love with riding! I took the Riders Edge course through the Harley Davidson Shop in Salt Lake, got my first bike, and began to ride. By the time the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally rolled around, I had a few hours under my belt, so off we roared on an adventure of a lifetime. At first I was scared, thinking about 500,000 bikes and me in the Black Hills of Sturgis, South Dakota, but my guy assured me I was ready.

We rode 625 miles from Park City to Sturgis, and as we got closer to Sturgis, the energy started to build. It was so exciting as more and more bikes joined us along the way.

When we arrived, the streets were lined with bikes and bikers, venders, and all sorts of people. The roar of all those bikes can be a bit overwhelming at first, but I loved the feeling and the thrill of being with that many people and being a part of the largest biker party on earth! Still, not for one minute did I forget that I’m an alcoholic in recovery. I knew that meetings were going to be a big part of our Sturgis experience, but I didn’t realize that right in the middle of it all was The Serenity Clubhouse. My guy and I dropped into a meeting to get some Serenity. You could truly feel the peace as we walked through the door. I began to relax the moment I heard them start reading “How It Works.” You see, meetings during an event like this don’t only insure that I’m not going to drink but also insure that I’m going to have an amazing time! To be connected to my people is being connected to my spirit! It is the air I breathe, it is what lights me up! It is truly one of the greatest parts of Sturgis. I found that people who go to meetings while in Sturgis often have long-term sobriety, and the meetings in Sturgis just ROCK!!

I recently attended my 13th Sturgis Rally. Best Sturgis ever! They keep getting better and better as I grow in my sobriety. I’m a daily meeting goer and when in Sturgis I don’t take a vacation from AA. We’ve met lifelong riding buddies, and we see        familiar faces in the clubhouse each year. There are two meeting halls in Sturgis with meetings all day and into the night. WHAT A PARTY! Just because I gave up drinking doesn’t mean I’ve given up having fun. I truly have more fun now than I ever had in my whole drinking career. Riding all day, my husband on his bike and me on mine, through the Black Hills where the roads were made for motorcycles, eating great food, checking out all the venders, going to meetings—it’s all more fun than any one human being should be able to have. Thank God for AA, which allows me to go anywhere and have a GREAT time.

Laurie C.

Park City UT

SerenityGroupSturgis

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My first Sturgis trip was a follow-up to the annual AA Serenity Run in Cedaredge, Colorado, in 1992. I had met a man there who was heading to Sturgis following the Serenity Run, so I asked to join him. That part was easy. But as I rode the 640 miles from Cedaredge to Sturgis, South Dakota, I started to become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety. It had been conveyed to me by my fellow AA brothers that I had to be very careful and cautious during bike week in Sturgis—it could be very dangerous. Well, after hearing those messages and having the wonderful pleasure of riding 640 miles, you can imagine what I was thinking.
After a long ride beset with fear, I arrived about 12:00 pm and landed almost on the doorstep of the Sturgis Serenity Club House on the main drag. As we all know, there are no coincidences. I immediately went in and retrieved the meeting schedule for bike week. To my surprise, meetings were held every three hours. That was my first day of my first Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
This year marked my 22nd Sturgis Rally, and I have become very comfortable with my sober experience over the years. I have met and created many long-term sober friendships with sober riders. I discovered in the meetings at Sturgis that the bikers I was so afraid of ere just like me—garden variety drunks who had to do the same things that I do to stay sober.
Today, my wife, who is sober and rides, and I go to meetings every day and share our experience strength and hope with other alcoholics. But we also love to ride through the Black Hills, which for us is an extremely spiritual experience—which means Sturgis has become a very important part of our program, rejuvenating our spiritual connection each year.
If you’re new to AA and like to ride but are afraid to go to Sturgis, I would encourage you to take the risk. It is safe if you take your AA program with you and, if you do, I know you will have the same experience that I did. So keep the rubber down and Happy Trails!

Gordo C.

74th AnniversarySturgisRally   SturgisGroupofAA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hillcrest

Arthur 30 days

Justin 30 days

Julie 30 days

Trevor 90 Days

Casey 90 Days

Teresa 90 days

Brandon 1 yr.

Sam 1 yr.

Ran 1 yr.

Melissa 18 mos

Paul 2 yrs.

Tarol 2 yrs.

Steve 6 yrs.

Dwaine 7 yrs.

Carol 8 yrs.

Susan 8 yrs.

 

 

 

Hillcrest (cont)

Sean 10 yrs.

Soren 12yrs.

Derek 13 yrs.

Alicia 17 yrs.

Pablo 23 yrs.

Meg 27 yrs.

Reed 33 yrs.

Marcel 35 yrs.

 

Living in Sobriety

Lisa 30 days

Phil 30 days

Casey 6 months

Ricky 1 year

Andrea 2 years

John  10 years

Terri  30 years

 

Life Elevated
Lone Peak/Utah State Prison

John  1 yr.
Jesse 2 yrs
Joe 30 days
J. C. 28 yrs

 

City At Seven

Sam 18 mos

Katy 3 yrs

Martin 4 yrs

Steve 6 yrs

Aaron 7 yrs

Patricia 10 yrs

Dennis 27 yrs

 

An AA Group

Lauren B 3yrs

Katie M 3yrs

Ryan H 11yrs

Brad 27yrs

 

Nomadic Lunch Bunch

Adam 6 mo

Josh 9 mo

Tammy 5 yrs

Nicole 5 yrs

Kathy 6 yrs

Shelia 9 yrs

Tery 10 yrs

Gina 12 yrs

Speak Easy Ladies

July

Stacey 30 days

Alivia 90 days

Rachel 1 year

Anne 1 year

Pat 5 years

Monique 6 years

Rachel 7 years

Sheila 9 years

Sally 26 years

August

Lindsey 30 days

Jessica 30 days

Frankie 30 days

Natia 30 days

Jan 60 days

Amra 2 years

Claudia 2 years

Barbara 24 years

Julie 24 years

Toni 25 years

MY SEARCH  FOR HIGHER POWER AND SPIRITUALITY

By: Alan L.

I have searched all my life for my place in the universe with regard to God and religion.  I gave up on religion many years ago because I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy I witnessed from those who practiced most religions.  I still continued my search for belief in God because I simply couldn’t understand why it seemed I was the only person who could not believe or understand in the concept of God.  As it turns out I am not.

The image I have of God is that of a supreme master who is in some sort of human form and manipulates the earth and all its living and non-living things as a puppeteer would.  God is referred to as Father or Lord and by the pronoun He and sometimes She. This God is very powerful and a lot like us with emotions.  He can be angry, loving, or jealous.

The AA program and Alcoholics Anonymous places a huge importance on the fact that in order to recover from alcoholism one needs to include God, or God of their understanding, a spiritual experience, or a Higher Power in their program of recovery. My desire to remove my self from the dark depths of alcoholism, to which I had plunged, was overwhelming.  I was truly ready to go to any lengths including believing in my feeble conception of a higher Power.  Had it not been for AA’s teachings, I would have given up the God concept long ago.

On page 12 of the Big Book, it asks: “Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?”  I have always had a huge problem accepting the intangible that most people referred to as God.  To my knowledge, no one has ever seen God, some have said they heard God, and then there were others who said they had spoken with God.   To me, listening to them was like hunting for Sasquatch or the Loch Ness Monster.  All three were equally far fetched as far as I was concerned.  However, I continued to feel pressure for the need to have a Higher Power in my life, so I chose the doorknob in my room during treatment and subsequently changed it to the chair because I thought it would be more plausible.  Both were equally ridiculous to me, but at least I had a Higher Power, even if I really didn’t believe in it. The main thing is the fact I was able to acknowledge that I knew I was not God.  But I also felt there was the possibility that somewhere out in the great universe there just might be something that fits the bill.  However, the void still remained within me

So in spite of my skeptical thoughts, I was able to remain sober for well over thirty years.  I proved to myself that one could stay sober without a belief in God, but it just didn’t seem right to have a door knob, or a chair as a Higher Power, so my search continued for something that was conceivable and made more sense.

I read, asked questions and shared my thoughts and frustrations at meetings, but could never come up with the answers I needed. To my surprise, the more I shared my reservations, the more I found people who had the same thoughts, feelings, and doubts about the God concept as I had. This didn’t do much for helping me find the answers I needed but it did give me the confidence to continue my search.  Most importantly, it also gave me the comforting feeling that I wasn’t alone.

How many times have I read something in the Big Book and on the last reading it was as if I have never seen it before?  On page 46 there is an example. It says we need not consider another’s conception of God.  Our own conception, however inadequate, was sufficient and as soon as we admitted the possible existence of a Creative Intelligence or Spirit of the Universe, we would have the support of a new power. Somehow I managed to grasp that power and I believe it is with that power that I have been able to continue my search for the answers I needed.

To be continued…(part 1 of 3)

 

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Greetings, Salt Lake Central Office! Isn’t it amazing how quickly a month flies by? Especially when you’re having fun at the Central Office annual picnic. If you missed this, I feel sorry for you. Thanks to Nick R, Doug C and Mike, an entire pig was stuffed with potatoes, onions and other good things and slow roasted through the night with each of the three taking sentry duty to ward off wolves. Joel and Penny and a slew of volunteers worked tirelessly to prepare for the hungry hordes and kept the place in order so we could all have a good time. And it was a blast. The great thing about this event is that if you did manage to miss it, it will happen again next year. It’s not too early to start thinking about what side dish you might bring and what goes best with sweet, succulent, tender, delicious pork? (A fork!)

And while you’re dreaming about food and picnics, keep in mind that there are opportunities to serve in our fellowship. The only constant is change, and it will be changing here soon. In fact, it’s already begun. With the ratification of the new Bylaws, the structure of the Board has become sleeker so that we can be more effective in our 12th Step work. Everything we do is to make the hand of AA available to those who need us, whether they know it or not. And we all take part in that. I want to thank Nick R, Mike O and Jason R for serving as Immediate Past Chair and Alternate Trustees. I hope you will join me in recognizing their efforts to show up and participate, bringing experience, strength and hope to our common purpose. Thank you for jobs well done. And thank you to Shelly, our brief Secretary, good luck in your educational adventure. Come back when you’re done!

“There is a widely held belief in A.A. that if a newcomer will simply continue to attend meetings, “Something will finally rub off on you.” And the implication, of course, is that the something which rubs off will be this so-called miracle of A.A. Now, there is no doubt in my mind that many people in A.A. accept this statement quite literally. I have observed them over the years. They faithfully attend meetings, faithfully waiting for “something to rub off.” The funny part about it is that “something” is rubbing off on them. Death. They sit there — week after month after year — while mental, spiritual, and physical rigor mortis slowly sets in. I believe the real “miracle of A.A.,” the “something” that will rub off, we hope, is simply the alcoholic’s willingness to act.A Member’s Eye View of Alcoholics Anonymous

What action will you take?

In loving service, Wendy

August 14, 2014

 

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Greetings, Salt Lake Central Office! I hope everyone’s summer is going well, but enough with the heat already. I’m always ready for some warmth, but this is a little over the top. Oh well, the snow will be here soon enough.

The big news around here is the ratification of the new Bylaws, after 6 months of ad hoc-ing and 3 months of deliberation, the body approved the proposed version, which can be found on the home page at www.saltlakeaa.org. This document has been through a few changes since its creation and continues to be a living document that will continually be modified in order to be more effective at doing what we do best, helping drunks get sober. If you or your group has a suggested change, we meet the second Tuesday of every month at 6:30 pm where you can present your suggestion. I have a tendency to use my conventional thinking and want to impose rules from the real world on what we do here at the CO. Fortunately, the beauty of our program shines through in the principles, and I’m reminded that we are not a business, a school, a government or authority, we are a “spiritual entity having but one primary purpose—that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.”

I cannot stress strongly enough that this is YOUR Central Office. Those holding positions are but trusted servants, they do not govern. Which brings me to my next topic, elections! It’s never too early to begin thinking about your next service position in AA, maybe it will be at the Central Office. The Chair, Co-Chair and one Trustee will be elected in November, and all 13 Committee Chairs will be rotating in December. That should generate some heat. And hopefully some filled positions. There’s plenty of work to do in our efforts to reach those who need us, what can you do to help?

In loving service, Wendy

July 21, 2014

 

 

An alcoholic reading through the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous for the first time might be tempted to skip over Chapter 8 since it is titled “To Wives” but on further examination, will find that it was actually written by Bill W.  Skipping this chapter for any reason would be a serious oversight and one that might hinder, rather than help, the soon-to-be-recovering alcoholic.

Why would that be the case?  One constant among alcoholics is the tendency to believe that their problem, even after they admit there is one, is theirs and not anyone else’s.  Unfortunately this is not completely true.  As Chapter 8 points out, “…for every man who drinks others are involved—the wife who trembles in fear of the next  debauch, the mother and father who see their son wasting away.” (p. 104) This does not even include the children, friends, coworkers, neighbors, community members, doctors, police officers and others who are also suffering in some way from the effects of someone else’s drinking.  Chapter 8 can be helpful in revealing the impact someone else’s drinking can have and every alcoholic needs to be aware, in the process of recovery, that they are not the only ones affected.

What, then, should these other people do?  “To Wives” suggests many changes in the non-drinking person affected, but most of them boil down to not trying to solve another person’s drinking problems for them, since this will never work and may cause resentment from the alcoholic who sees other people “interfering” in his or her problem.

The ultimate solution is a spiritual awakening for these other people, use of the 12 Steps for themselves, and realization that they are dealing with someone who is seriously ill with a condition which may very well kill them if not controlled.  Chapter 8 suggests, in fact, that the non-drinking spouse or other remember “He (the alcoholic) is just another sick, unreasonable person.  Treat him, when you can, as though he had pneumonia.”  (p. 108)

That this is a difficult thing to do is obvious from the content of Chapter 8.  These women have suffered along with their drinking spouse, have become angry, resentful, frightened, and desperate, just as the alcoholic has!  They may have made multiple attempts to control the disease for the drinker, may have enlisted others in the fight, even divorced or separated from the alcoholic, only to find that even extreme measures have not cured the problem.

Reason:  it is NOT their problem.  Only the alcoholic, with the aid of a Higher Power and the strength of Alcoholics Anonymous, can find the solution.  The affected others can only see to their own spiritual health, follow the precepts of the 12 Steps themselves, “Let go and let God” take care of the problem drinker and, perhaps, as is suggested on page 121, find an Al-Anon group of their own to support them through the struggle.

 

—Sandra D.